Atkins is in his sixth Bengals season, with three Pro Bowl selections over his first five years ... Was not in his top form last season, though he reached Pro Bowl as an alternate, but in 2015 appears fully back from effects of a serious 2013 knee injury ... His 4.0 sacks rank second in NFL among interior linemen ... First-team choice on Associated Press All-Pro team for 2012 season and first-team Sports Illustrated All-Pro for ’13 ... In 2012, he logged 12.5 sacks, third-most in franchise history, leading all NFL interior linemen by wide margin ... In 2011, his 7.5 sacks tied for NFL lead among interior linemen.
Career transactions: Selected by Cincinnati in fourth round of 2010 NFL Draft (120th overall) ... Signed with Bengals on 7-17-10 ... Signed contract extension with Bengals on 9-2-13.
2015 highlights: Has started in Games 1-6, with 4.0 sacks (second on team) among his 16 tackles ... Second on team in QB hits (six) and second in tackles-for-loss (four) ... Also has a forced fumble ... On Sept. 13 at Oakland, forced a fumble by QB Matt McGloin that teammate Michael Johnson recovered at Raiders 17 ... On Sept. 20 vs San Diego, logged a pair of shared sacks ... Had four tackles, with two for losses, on Sept. 27 at Baltimore ... On Oct. 4 vs. Kansas City, logged three tackles, including a 10-yard sack of Alex Smith and a TFL on a rushing play ... On Oct. 11 vs. Seattle, logged four tackles, his sack of Russell Wilson on a third-down play at the scrimmage line forced a punt, after which Bengals drove for tying field goal that sent game into overtime ... Logged two tackles on Oct. 18 at Buffalo.
Previous seasons: 2010—Fourth-round draftee played his way into regular D-line rotation early in training camp ... Went on to play in every game, with one start, and led team in coaches’ compilation of QB pressures (19) ... Had 20 tackles, and was second on team in sacks (three) ... Combined with Michael Johnson to sack Joe Flacco for four-yard loss in win Sept. 19 vs. Baltimore, helping stall Ravens’ last comeback bid ... Three tackles and two QB pressures Nov. 14 at Indianapolis, including shared sack of Peyton Manning ... Three QB pressures in first pro start, Dec. 12 at Pittsburgh. 2011—Played in every game, with 15 starts, and started Wild Card playoff at Houston ... His 7.5 sacks tied DT Tommy Kelly of Oakland for NFL lead among interior linemen ... First interior lineman to lead Bengals in sacks since 1996 (Dan Wilkinson with 6.5) ... His 68 tackles ranked second on line and eighth on team ... Second on team in QB pressures (22) ... Tied for team lead in combined fumbles forced/recovered (four) ... On Oct. 9 at Jacksonville, scored his first TD at any level of football after recovering a fumble from QB Blaine Gabbert on Jacksonville’s final play and returning 10 yards for the score ... Had five tackles with a sack in the team’s Wild Card playoff on 1-7-12 at Houston. 2012—One of 10 Bengals to start all 16 games, and his team-leading 12.5 sacks were 4.5 ahead of next-best NFL interior lineman (Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh at 8.0) ... Set Bengals record for sacks by an interior lineman, easily topping Dan Wilkinson’s eight from 1996 ... Ranked tied for sixth among all NFL players in sacks, highest individual rank in Bengals history, topping ninth by Eddie Edwards (13) in 1983 ... Tied for team lead in forced fumbles (four) ... Also led Bengals in coaches’ compilation of tackles-for-loss (15) and QB pressures (35) ... One of only six unanimous selections to midseason All-Pro team by Pro Football Weekly ... Named by NFL as AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Cincinnati’s playoff-clinching win Dec. 23 at Pittsburgh, sacking Ben Roethlisberger twice for 17 yards, forcing a fumble and leading line in tackles (eight) ... Logged two sacks of Joe Flacco for 15 yards on Sept. 10 at Baltimore ... His four tackles Sept. 23 at Washington included key 15-yard sack of Robert Griffin III with 0:29 remaining, with Redskins down seven and on Bengals’ 19-yard line ... Two tackles and a QB pressure in Wild Card playoff on 1-5-13 at Houston. 2013—Started at DT in Games 1-9 ... Suffered ACL tear in the second quarter of Game 9, Oct. 31 at Miami; placed Nov. 4 on Reserve/Injured list ... His six sacks led the team through the point of his knee injury ... Credited by coaches with 16 QB pressures (second on team through Game 9) ... Recorded 11-yard sack of Ben Roethlisberger on Sept. 16 vs. Pittsburgh ... Five tackles, 1.5 sacks and three QB pressures on Sept. 29 at Cleveland ... In Cleveland game, had shared eight-yard shared sack of Brian Hoyer in third quarter and 10-yard solo sack on first play of fourth quarter ... Had eight-yard sack of Tom Brady on second play of game Oct. 6 vs. New England, and also recorded six tackles and three QB pressures ... Had five tackles, including seven-yard shared sack, on Oct. 13 at Buffalo, and logged two QB pressures ... Two tackles, including an eight-yard sack of Geno Smith, on Oct. 27 vs. Jets ... His two tackles Oct. 31 at Miami included eight-yard sack of Ryan Tannehill. 2014—Named to his third Pro Bowl, as injury replacement for Detroit DT Ndamukong Suh ... Totaled 34 tackles, three sacks (second on team), eight tackles for-loss (second) and seven QB hits (third) ... First-team choice on Associated Press All-Pro team for 2012 season and first-team Sports Illustrated All-Pro for ’13 ... On Oct. 19 at Indianapolis, teamed with Carlos Dunlap for a nine-yard sack of Andrew Luck on a third-down play in second quarter, forcing a punt ... Had four tackles (two for-loss) Oct. 26 vs. Baltimore, including an eight-yard sack of Joe Flacco, and also forced a fumble by RB Justin Forsett (Ravens recovered) ... Led line with six tackles (one for-loss) and had a pass defensed on Nov. 2 vs. Jacksonville ... On Nov. 6 vs. Cleveland, dropped QB Brian Hoyer for a four-yard loss before he could hand off the ball ... On Nov. 23 at Houston, tackled RB Alfred Blue in the end zone for a safety in second quarter, giving Bengals 9-0 lead ... Had two tackles (one for-loss), including a shared sack of Josh McCown on Nov. 30 at Tampa Bay ... Led the line with four tackles, including one for loss, on Dec. 7 vs. Pittsburgh ... On Dec. 14 at Cleveland, his lone tackle was a 10-yard sack of Johnny Manziel to force a Browns punt ... Led line with three tackles on Dec. 28 at Pittsburgh.
Pro Bowl participation: Selected to and played in three games ... Started for victorious Team Irvin in 2014 season game at Glendale, Ariz. (no statistics) ... Voted as AFC starter for 2012 season game and had one tackle ... Two tackles (one for a loss) for AFC in 2011 season contest.
College: Played four seasons (2006-09) at Georgia ... Named team’s defensive MVP as a senior ... Played in team’s last 45 games of his career ... Totaled 50 games and 23 starts ... Helped Bulldogs post 38-14 record, including 4-0 in bowl games ... Totaled 120 tackles, with 11 sacks.
Personal: Hometown is Pembroke Pines, Fla. ... Attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where he was named Florida Class 5-A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior ... Father, Gene Atkins, had 10-year NFL career at S with New Orleans and Miami ... Housing major at Georgia ... Enjoys traveling, playing pool and movies ... First name is pronounced “JEE-no.”
The only thing more notorious than Geno Atkins’ first step is his last word because there are so few of them that come before it. The guy who defensive line coach Jay Hayes calls “a man of few words,” was the talk of Bengals training camp Wednesday when he passed his physical and came off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Just a few hours before Bengals Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins sufered a season-ending knee injury Thursday, Hall of Famer Warren Sapp reminded us why he's so valuable.
"We're pleased to be able to announce the signing of the extension for Geno. I know he's relieved and glad it’s behind him. Now he can move forward and focus on football."
When they broke in as kids, the young Bengals pass rushers called themselves "The Fisher Price Package." Now after two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins's mega $55 million extension was announced Monday, they are officially all grown up and need a new name.
As the faithful gather in downtown Cincinnati this weekend to usher in the most optimistic Bengals preseason in recent memory, there are a number of men that can wear the face of the franchise.